It’s raining in Portland. Finally. Days of heat and teasing rain, that only moistens you up so there’s more steam to boil out of your clothes when it stops. No thunderstorm, sadly, but c’est la vie, no? It gives me time to read and vegetate, and ponder the illusion of reality.
Curious thing, reality. Scientifically, nothing more than a coincidental alignment of reflexive carbon circuitry that builds logic based patterns out of the repeating patterns of stimulations received from a universe of vibrating particles that produce the probable wave variations that we succintly refer to “seeing” and “hearing”.
Which begs the following questions: For what does the carbon circuitry build its patterns for? If a particle is only probably at occupying any given space at any given time, why does it bother at all, and wouldn’t it be simpler to get a watch and make a reservation? And perhaps the most important question: What the Hell?
Thankfully, we have Roger Zelazny. Or had, rather; I believe he’s dead, to the extent I believe anything. Roger wrote “Lord Of Light”, a science fiction novel that describes a world where science has made gods of men, and a world where they rule as a Hindu style pantheon. The book tells the story of Sam, or Siddartha, who has taken the role of the Buddha, because his power is to organize and redirect currents of electromagnetic energy. If you think about it, that’s a working definition of god. Anyway, because Zelazny writes literature, instead of the sci-fi techno-babble junk that pores, heedless of criticism and good sense, from the minds of hack writers, the book is about the meaning of humanity and immortality in a life where miracles are matters of science, but sacred as dogma. It opens with Sam being yanked from his exile into the rings of the planet, where he existed as an algorithmic wave form. If you hadn’t guessed, that was Nirvana, and he was brought back.
Curious, no? Apart from being insanely jealous that he thought of it first, I love to read this book because it helps me with my beliefs, and staves off anxiety attacks.
I guess I’m spiritual, despite being a cynical disbeliever of everything. I’m spiritual only because I have a pathological fear of death, and it comforts me to think that in the end, this neurotic vice grip on existence will shiver away before I do, and I can comfortably let the patterns of electricity that are my mind sink back into the universal electron-quark dance.
But step away from the empiricist mindset. This dance of shiva is the dream of the nameless and the home of the Buddha way, and in this dream, there are dreamers who forget they dream, and dreamers who know but cannot free themselves, and, if certain stories and videotapes are to be believed, dreamers who are fully aware, and can move the dream as they please.
Supernatural powers are pretty much unnecesary to preserve a sense of wonder in this world. It’s pretty nifty, in my opinion, that a phantom representation in my mind can cause, say, the electrical explosion from the meeting of a stone and a metal, which causes a glowing gaseous comsuming dance of energy, and then I can move that glow to the tip of a carbon tube, and set it on fire, and infuse that representation machine that a chemical that makes it work faster, allowing me to finish this entry. That’s pretty damn cool. But I do it twenty times a day, 10,000 times a year, and my cohorts probably pull it off a million times an hour, so nobody cares.
The supernatural wonders we only hear about, or perhaps witness, are those manipulations of energy that we can’t do, and don’t see very often. It’s not what happens; it’s the dreamstuff that we only sense. Walking must be magical to a baby, the way a gun is magical to a isolated pygmy tribe. Sex is still magical, because, at least for a few seconds, and maybe a good half hour in the right circumstances, I abandon all this babbling mental masturbation and fuse my mind to my body, and someone else’s, and I don’t even try to comprehend why.
So death is a fearful dark magic, because nothing seems to want to clue us in on the next phase, and we mark it as the end of all we know, because we don’t know anything about the next step. I don’t think it’s possible to know it, and all fear comes from the unknown, the unsteady possibilities. Yet we live in a world where it is theoretically possible for every atom in my right arm to spontaneously move six inches left, thus diconnecting it from my body and ending my music career. It’s very, very unlikely, even less so because I keep an eye on my arms, but it is possible. So why are we not afraid all the time?
Partly, I think, because there may be a method to the quantum madness, and that method is the answer to death, fear, and the gates to heaven. It is not this method that keeps me going after a screaming anxiety attack, however. It is the knowledge that I am not truly afraid. Not because I understand, not because anyone understands, but because all things that are, are. The universe in some sense, definitely IS. There is a muddled clockwork that we stumble through on metaphorical frameworks, but beneath all that is an illogical flow, free of duality and conscious conflict, existing for no better reason than it already does. Every word that limits and designates an unknown area is an illusion as rich as the illusion of our senses, but it comes from a thing that undeniably is out there, and that thing is our future after the end of this existence, the end of at least one dream, and the exhale of symbol into the unrepresented sea of not-being.
And maybe there will be a song.